Parachute plume was caused by leaky ‘valve set’
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE, Colorado – Investigators say a failed pressure gauge is the source of a hydrocarbon leak near Parachute Creek, which is believed to have created a plume of potentially deadly chemicals in the soils near the creek.
In a release issued late Wednesday, the Williams Midstream pipeline company attributed the find to “preliminary analysis of meter data,” and said the leak was stopped on Jan. 3 after it was discovered.
Williams crews have been working to locate the leak, determine the size of the plume and keep chemicals out of Parachute Creek since March 8, when the plume was discovered by Williams workers.
The leaky gauge was part of a “valve set” on a four-inch natural gas liquids line that leads from a nearby natural gas processing plant to a tank farm on the other side of Parachute Creek.
The company believes the leak began on Dec. 20, 2012, and estimates that “about 80 percent of the leaked volumes [of liquids] vaporized before entering the soil.”
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
The company statement on the leak estimates that approximately 241 barrels (about 10,000 gallons) of natural gas liquids soaked into the soil, of which about 143 barrels (or roughly 6,000 gallons) has been recovered.
Benzene, a known carcinogen linked to oil and gas development, has been detected as much as 1,000 feet from the valve site. Williams’s statement indicated that it is not certain whether the benzene is related to the leaky valve.
According to the statement, tests continue to indicate the creek itself has not been contaminated by the leak.
Water testing and other work to determine the extent of the hydrocarbon plume and to protect Parachute Creek will continue, the company stated.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Small businesses affected by the Glenwood Canyon mudslides may qualify for federal funding, the state announced Friday.